Wednesday, October 20, 2010

6 Tips for a Tear-free Halloween

As a mom of twins, I quickly learned how to be organized and efficient about things and tried to avoid meltdowns and tantrums. There was really no other choice!

Certain holidays that are supposed to be fun for children actually end up being stressful for parents and little ones, often with both parties wanting to cry!
Luckily, I have some easy steps you can take to make your Halloween free from tears this year, no matter what age child you have. Here are my top tips from my years in the Halloween trenches:

* Keep Halloween fun. Participate in age appropriate events. The earlier in the evening you go trick or treating, the better. Pre-schoolers and trick or treaters in strollers will feel more comfortable while it is still early and won't be tired. You'll also avoid the teenagers, often in scary adult sized costumes, who come out later in the evening.

* Know the turf. Trick or Treat in a neighborhood where you know the people. This seems like a no-brainer, but it will make a child feel good to see familiar faces. Of course, everyone who is handing out treats loves to see the children, too! My Dad is so cute; he even keeps a tally of how many children visit his house.

* Special Events. In many cities, children can Trick or Treat during the day or early evening in a safe and exciting environment. Shopping centers, zoos, and parks often sponsor Halloween celebrations. If you're in Washington, DC, consider Boo at the Zoo this weekend on October 22, 23, and 24 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. On Halloween weekend, The Maryland Zoo is hosting ZooBOOO! in Baltimore. This is a fantastic opportunity for the littlest people since it is held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to a huge bag of candy, you'll enjoy different experiences at these events!

(Photo courtesy of FONZ)

* Prepare the team. Warn children about "scary" costumes in advance and let them know that it is just pretend. Allow small children to see, touch, and feel "scary" masks at a costume shop if they are comfortable so that they can see these things before Halloween night.

* Work through it. Or not. If there is a meltdown on Halloween, work through it as best you can. But as a parent, sometimes you just have to know when to call it quits. If a child is tired or scared, it may be time to stop the trick or treating for this year. You'll certainly have many more Halloweens to celebrate!

* Enjoy your candy in moderation. Luckily my daughters don't read my blog, so they won't find out my secret. Little by little, I take Halloween candy to school to give to my students as prizes. Or the candy simply disappears. (And that's not because I'm eating it!) There's always so much candy, that it just seems excessive.

More information about Boo at the Zoo or ZooBOOO!

What are you doing for Halloween? Where are you going to Trick or Treat?


Images via and via


  1. This will be the second time my little guy is going out - he wasn't too sure about it last year but when he realised he just has to knock the doors and our neighbours will give his chips and crackers he caught on in a hurry lol! We just go to the houses right around us since none of us need any candy but it's so much fun to watch the little ones out in their costumes.

    These are all great tips!!

  2. Great tips! I was always afraid of scary costumes as a child!

  3. You can donate extra candy to shelters.

  4. I let the kids gorge on Halloween night... And then the rest ends up just sitting in the pantry for months!



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